On May 2, 2018, fiber optic cable manufacturer, Afo Fiber, was awarded a $25 million grant to develop a technology that would allow fiber optic cables to carry energy between different parts of the country.
The grant, which was announced in January, will help Afo and its customers upgrade the existing fiber optic infrastructure in the United States and around the world.
The company’s research and development efforts will focus on improving the reliability of the cables by using an energy-efficient technology called a low-cost, high-throughput fiber-optic cable.
Afo plans to use the funds to build a fiber-to-the-home network, which would enable consumers to wire up their homes to a single cable to deliver internet to all their homes.
“It will enable a massive amount of broadband penetration,” said Afo Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Tittel.
“With this funding, we can invest in technologies that will make the next wave of fiber optic communications possible.”
Afo will be launching its new fiber optic technology on June 1 in a trial, and expects to begin commercial operations in the next two years.
The trial will use the new technology, which is called the Afo Low-Cost, High-Throughput Fiber Optics (AFL-HBT), to wire an existing fiber-based cable in the Chicago area.
The new technology will be deployed to fiber optic power lines in the greater Chicago area, where the existing copper cables are too expensive for most consumers.
The pilot program will run through the end of 2018 and the trial is expected to take place for the next three years.
“We’re excited about the trials in Chicago and across the country,” said CEO Jeff Tettl.
“AFL HBT is an extremely low-price, high quality technology that we believe will revolutionize the way consumers connect to the internet, while also improving the lives of our employees.”
Tettel said that the project has already been funded, with the company having received $15 million from the Federal Communications Commission.
“This project has been in the works for a number of years,” said Tetth, who added that the Aflo team is currently working on building a fiber optic network in Chicago to support the network’s transition to the new fiber-powered infrastructure.
“While we’ve been working on this technology for the last few years, the project itself took several years to complete and is now on schedule for completion by 2020.”
Tippel said the company has made significant progress with its project, which includes the installation of a new copper cable.
“As of now, we have approximately 80% of the copper we need to build the first network, but it will take several years before we reach full capacity,” he said.
“To get that far we need your support.”
Afolts progress in Chicago Since the project began, the company’s Austin office has been able to install a total of 10 fiber optic wires in the city, including in some neighborhoods that are considered some of the densest in the country, like the South Side and the Midway.
The goal is to increase the network by 5% a year for the rest of the 20 years of the trial, with an initial 10% capacity boost in 2021.
Tippe said that his team is excited about its current progress and is looking forward to the success of the project.
“The team is focused on achieving the initial goal, and we are extremely excited to continue to make progress,” he told National Geographic.
“Our initial goal of 15% a month is well on its way to being met.”
Afos first trial in Chicago, in 2015 The company expects to complete a second trial in 2019, which will include the installation in Austin of a second 10% copper cable for the entire city.
“Austin will provide the most compelling test case yet, with its unique mix of demographics and population density,” said Mike Pohl, CEO of the Afolats Austin office.
“By 2020 we will have more than 100 miles of high-capacity fiber optic connections in Austin.”
Pohl said that during the second trial, the team will be able to run the trial over a period of 20 years.
Pohl noted that the technology is very similar to that of Google Fiber, which offers its own fiber optic service, but also provides a high-speed service through a high number of high density cable locations in a large metro area.
“Google Fiber’s fiber-centric architecture is very popular and it has been widely adopted by consumers around the country because of its flexibility and low cost,” he added.
“So we are very excited to bring our technology to Austin.”
“The results of this trial are very promising, and are making us even more confident that the fiber-led rollout will provide benefits for all Americans,” Tippl said.
Tittels team has made a number advances since the first trial, including the installation on two high-density fiber